The discussion was less than 15 minutes, but a major problem was solved.

The topic – a project in which a team member felt underutilized – followed a brief, regular morning team check-in meeting. Ben West, Radial’s cofounder, led the exchange.

Aside: I’ve worked for organizations who regularly, harshly reprimanded people for speaking up and pointing out problems.

The talk

We had a brief, concise conversation. Everyone listened respectfully and spoke calmly. Team members explained their roles and stated their viewpoints.

Another aside: This is where some managers would send accusations flying, point fingers, or quietly compose hit lists for future reference.

Twenty-five minutes into the meeting – a mere 10 minutes past our typical timeframe – Ben said the team provided details he didn’t have before. He outlined a solution. Team members weighed in and reached a consensus.

Five minutes later, with wishes for a good day, we signed off.

No drama. No recrimination. No name calling.

The process

  • State the issue.
  • Ask for input.
  • Listen.
  • Formulate a resolution.
  • Ask for input.
  • Listen.
  • Modify if necessary.
  • Agree to do it.

In my career (which started during the Pleistocene Period, I think), I’ve had some incredible work experiences and amazing coworkers and supervisors. I only wish I’d had more managers like Ben and the Radial team earlier and more frequently.

With a nod to the Mandalorian, this is the way at Radial.

agile development values culture